25 years, 3 weeks, 12 hours. 9-1-1 and done.

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August 2, 2019. After 25 years, 3 weeks, and 12 hours, I’m officially retired. Here’s a look back at some of what I saw.

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9-1-1 envy

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The City of Visalia opened it’s new communications center to the public today, and now I have a serious case of dispatch center envy.

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Their new center is spacious, well laid out, modern, and will be a joy for their staff to work in… especially since the current center is a small room in the basement of the police station downtown.

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This center will serve the needs of Visalia for the next fifty years or more.

Tulare County really needs to get on the ball and upgrade it’s 9-1-1 dispatch center, which is also in a small room in a basement. (It’s supposed to be moved upstairs to a somewhat larger room (with windows!) soon, but “soon” in government speak is always vague.) Plans to move it to the new Cigna building at Akers and Tulare are on “hold”, probably forever (my pessimism is creeping in here), and I doubt it will ever be there. The county should follow the City of Visalia’s lead, and build a dedicated 9-1-1 communications center. (especially since the county missed the boat and… ‘declined’… to join with Visalia and consolidate the centers into one building.)

Congratulations, Visalia. You’ve got a well laid out, modern, functional emergency communications center that will serve the city for a long time. I’m green with envy.

I wonder if it’s a time to consider a change in my work venue?

Our part of the valley used to be an Oak forest

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South of Woodlake, California. Road 212, south of Avenue 328, looking southeast.

#ThrowBackThursday – January 1986

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January 1986, on the top of Moro Rock, in Sequoia National Park, which is just up the road from my home in Visalia.  It may look like I have a death grip on the rail, but I don’t remember being at all nervous there.  I’m 28 here, and there are two things I notice in this picture:  how much hair I have compared to today, and how much snow on the mountains compared to today.  Both were much thicker than now.  Mother Nature can be a bitch, and Father Time a bastard!

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Tulare County Film Commission posts new promo video

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One Day or One Trial (but really only 2 hours)

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Monday last was my first adventure into the jury selection process since the mid 1980’s.  Back then, I made it all the way into the court room and interviews by the attorneys in a Federal case, something dealing with drugs.  I was excused by the prosecution, probably due to my age.  Ever since, every time I’ve been sent a juror summons, my group was excused on the recorded message the day before the appearance was demanded.  This week, my group made it to the courthouse, but didn’t have to be there until 1pm.  So I gussied up, showed up, and wondered if I would see the inside of a court room this trip.  Well, it appears any jury duty will be a bit like my attempts to get my current job.  Inch a bit closer, each try, and eventually, years later, land that puppy.

So I sat. More

The Other Road

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That title is not a “road not taken” musing, it’s an actual street name in my county!

After more than 18 years at the same agency, you’d think I’d have run across every street name in the county by now, especially if they’re not in a new sub-division.  Saturday sprung a new one on me, however.  “The Other Road”.  It’s in the Kennedy Meadows area of southeastern Tulare County, and I’ve not heard of it before.  Neither had I heard of a road that intersects with it…  “Up The Hill Road”.

In my defense, while we have a resident Deputy that covers the area (two of them, actually), we almost never get any calls for service from this part of our county.  It’s remote…  very remote.  If a Deputy or backup has to come from the nearest substation, it’s at least two hours.  Deputies for that patrol this area have to be a special breed, which is appropriate, since the folks that live out there are a special breed themselves.

When I first heard a fellow dispatcher taking a call from an address on “The Other Road”, we both first thought we were dealing with someone who simply did not know the name of the other road.  Turns out WE were the ones who didn’t know!

Now I’m going to be looking over the maps during slow time, to see what other odd names crop up.  Years ago the County changed the name of a creek to Negro Creek.  I’m sure you can figure out what the old name was.

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